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It’s easy to confuse the symptoms of seasonal allergies and those of COVID-19 as they share some similarities. A good tip to determine if whether or not your symptoms may be COVID-19 related is to compare your current symptoms with the symptoms you usually have during allergy seasons. If you notice a difference between the way you usually feel during allergy season and your current situation, this might be a hint that something else is at play.
For seasonal allergies, the symptoms are the result of an overreaction by the body to miniscule substances (called “allergens”) found in the air we breathe, e.g., ragweed pollen.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.
Because allergy symptoms include itchy eyes, it might tempting to relieve the itchiness by touching your face and said eyes. However, such a habit can increase your risk of contracting COVID-19 if you have touched an infected surface or object beforehand.
Make sure to comply to strict hygiene measures such as handwashing for 20 seconds to minimize your risk. Medication can also relieve your allergy symptoms.
Seasonal: When the allergen that causes allergic rhinitis is only present at a specific time of the year, the symptoms will appear at the same time every year. For example, in the spring for people who are allergic to tree pollen or in the fall for those with a ragweed allergy.
Perennial: When the allergen is present year-round in the environment, symptoms can occur all year long. Dust mites are one example of an allergen that can cause allergic rhinitis throughout the year.